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malaise. Tortured and uncompromising, Beckett refused to tailor his material to

suit the tastes of publishers or the public. Only the most esoteric and courageous

publications would carry his work and he was plagued with financial difficulties.

The Joyce-Beckett relationship is profoundly important to understanding

Beckett's work. On the most superficial level there is a clear parental relationship in

the connection between the two men. But perhaps more important is the contrast

between the two artists. Beckett understood and was sympathetic to Joyce's work,

and Joyce strongly supported Beckett's work. However their work was profoundly

different. Where Joyce was concerned with building an edifice of expression with a

large palate of often invented words and grammar, Beckett was working with the

tearing down of expression to a bare minimum. Subtraction was always the

primary creative act for Beckett.

This approach on the part of Beckett is key to looking at his work. The fact

that his work became shorter and shorter as time passed is perhaps indication that

he was getting more focused. It could also be asserted that in comparing the original

French versions of Beckett's work to the English translations, the translations

(which are often shorter) are more focused.

As a rule of thumb, it also becomes clear that Beckett's world is not realized

or filled out by addition.

Beckett began a relationship with Suzanne Georgette Anna Deschevanx-

Dumesnil in 1939.8

Beckett and Suzanne lived together for the rest of their lives,

legally marrying in 1961. Although neither of the partners seemed interested in any

great level of intimacy,9the fact that the relationship survived, while Beckett

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